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  • Location: Cornwall, Florence

My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel

Why a Booktrail?

1800s: A mysterious cousin, a woman shrouded in mystery, returns to England…

  • Genre: Gothic, Mystery, Romance

What you need to know before your trail

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip’s world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and then dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances.

Before long, the new widow – Philip’s cousin Rachel – arrives in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she have caused Ambrose’s death?

Travel Guide


“The location of My Cousin Rachel is familiar du Maurier territory at du Maurier’s own home, Menabilly (fictionalised in other novels, most notably in rebecca.)

From the first, there is  a sense of displacement, which gives it a curious , dreamlike air of timelessness. And this Cornish estate, unnamed in the novel, has had all fictional allure ruthlessly scrapped away.

We discover a house from which women have been banished. There/ two men, served entirely by male staff, lead an isolated , philistine, inward-looking existence.”

Could this be that house? This is the mansion which inspired the story and its setting  – nationaltrust.org.uk/antony


“There, Ambrose travels in search of plants for his garden, and an improvement in his health. Philip Ashley, left behind, learns of events in Italy only intermittently by letter…

Rachel is a distant cousin of Ambrose and is half Cornish and half italian – the impoverished widow of the Count Sangalletti”

Florence is as mysterious as the lady herself – shrouded in veils and mist, the houses grand and elusive.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: My Cousin Rachel

Author/Guide: Daphne Du Maurier   Destination: Cornwall, Florence  Departure Time: 1800s

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